• Leeds Student Television

Enter Shikari Rise From Strength to Strength in Masterful Leeds show


Setting the bar, sustaining it, and regularly raising the roof - Enter Shikari’s longevity speaks volumes for why they should be seen as the model target for the rock and metal scene. With a ferocious undercard of Dinosaur Pile-Up and Nova Twins, they finally brought their expansive Nothing Is True And Everything Is Possible tour to O2 Academy Leeds.


After seeing them in festival tents, record stores and academies during the era of The Spark, I was intrigued to see how Shikari would level up their live show, a challenge that drummer Rob Rolfe told me is always in the back of their minds when I interviewed him back in May. Keeping the feel of the room ‘as small as possible’ is a task that Shikari always seem to complete with flying colours, even in the context of Leeds’ second largest venue.


(Link for interview with Rob Rolfe can be found here- https://x.facebook.com/watch/?v=925696988210356&_rdr )


Opening with their kicking anthem ‘THE GREAT UNKNOWN’ and a full dose of confetti, they had the whole venue bouncing as frontman Rou Reynolds effortlessly sauntered around the stage, donning purple sunglasses that perfectly accompanied the band’s effervescent lighting rig.


Shikari’s setlist ramped up another level in the second half, with their seamless transitions from ‘Gandhi Mate, Gandhi’ into ‘Mothership’ and then ‘Solidarity’ exhibiting how refined and inch-perfect their live show has become, equilibrated by the raw passion and energy from the band and the crowd. Fan favourite ‘Juggernauts’ made an unusually early appearance in the setlist, alongside the timeless ‘Arguing With Thermometers’ - with Reynolds giving a particular nod to the prevalent climate crisis, a theme that runs throughout the band’s discourse.


As for the new material, Shikari saved singles ‘{ The Dreamer’s Hotel }’ and ‘T.I.N.A.’ until the encore, with the latter manifesting itself into a gargantuan live sound that the studio version teased. The band remained impeccable, whether that be Rolfe’s eclectic time changes in ‘Sorry, You’re Not A Winner’ or guitarist Rory Clewlow’s seamless transitions from monstrous breakdowns into soaring lead melodies.


Enter Shikari will always prove time and time again why they are top of the tree when it comes to live shows, and they will make their rightful return to the main stage at Leeds Festival 2022, supporting the equally magnificent Bring Me The Horizon on a sold out day. Weekend tickets are on sale here.

By Rishi Shah (13/12/2021)

Photography- Rishi Shah

Link for interview with Rob Rolfe can be found here- https://x.facebook.com/watch/?v=925696988210356&_rdr